All posts by Parish Secretary

The Almighty has done great things for me

The hope of all Christians is that, by God’s mercy, we will enjoy eternal life with God; our whole selves, body and soul, will be taken up into heaven. The salvation that we are promised is the salvation of the whole person. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, has already received this blessing. At the end of Mary’s earthly life, God took her up into heavenly glory, body and soul. Today’s Feast of the Assumption celebrates that special gift.

In today’s Gospel reading, we find Mary as a very young woman, who has just conceived Jesus by God’s power. She celebrates the good news with her cousin Elizabeth, who has also received the miraculous gift of a child. In her hymn of praise, the Magnificat, Mary rejoices in what God has done for her, transforming her life. It will not be an easy road for Mary – a sword of sorrow will pierce her soul, when she sees her Son suffer and die. But she never ceases to trust in God.

In the life of Mary, we see how God’s plan of salvation unfolds. God works through the little ones. The Son of God comes into the world as a child of a poor family. The rich, the powerful and the proud are cast down; the poor and the lowly are raised up. By the power of God, Mary was kept free from original sin; throughout her life, she trusted completely in God; and, at the end of her life, God raised her up. As disciples of Christ, we are called to follow Mary’s example, trusting in God and rejoicing in what God has done for us. By the mercy of God, we too can hope to be raised up, body and soul, to eternal glory.

Hospital Visits

The University Hospital of North Durham still has restrictions in place regarding visits to patients – see the hospital website for the latest information. However, the Catholic Chaplain is still able to visit patients, and can bring them Holy Communion and the Sacrament of the Sick. If you know of a patient who wishes for a visit from the Catholic Hospital Chaplain, please inform Fr Paul Tully on 01388 818544 or frpaultully@outlook.com 

For visits to patients in St Cuthbert’s Hospice, in care homes or in their own homes, please contact Fr Andrew.

Keeping in touch

Please check the parish website, www.stcuthberts-durham.org.uk for regular updates. If you’re not already subscribed to our weekly e-newsletter, you can subscribe here. Also check the ‘St Cuthbert’s Church, Durham’ page on Facebook – from there, you can join our new Facebook group, ‘St Cuthbert’s Parish Community,’ which already has more than 100 members.

We have a network of parishioners who are keeping in touch via telephone, while social distancing is in force. If you would like to be contacted regularly (especially if you don’t have internet access), or if you know someone who would welcome such contact, please contact Fr Andrew on 0191 3843442 or parish.priest@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk.

Northern Cross

The August edition of our diocesan newspaper is now available, online only, at www.northerncross.org.uk The Northern Cross is facing significant financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – please consider supporting the paper by taking out an online or print subscription, via the website or by post: Subscriptions Dept, Northern Cross, c/o WM Fortune & Son, Collingwood House, Church Square, Hartlepool, TS24 7EN.

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Just over a week ago, the world remembered the horrors of the atomic bombs  which were exploded above Hiroshima on the 6th August and Nagasaki on the 9th August, 1945. Among the survivors from the hypocentre, in each case, were a few devastated trees. Many years  later, cuttings from these trees were distributed internationally as a peace offering. Small progeny now grow in Gloucestershire; Maidenhair Trees from Hiroshima and Kaki Trees (Chinese Persimmon) from Nagasaki. Commemorative cards are available – please take one.

Counselling & Listening Service

A number of qualified counsellors and listeners have generously made themselves available to anyone who may be troubled by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown. These counsellors and listeners can be contacted through the St Mary’s Cathedral Listening Service on 0191 232 6953 and the Northumberland Listening Service on 07732 980740.

NEPACS

Nepacs is a North-East charity which aims to promote a positive future for prisoners, offenders and their relatives by supporting family ties at every stage of the criminal justice system. Some of our parishioners volunteer with Nepacs, and we regularly support their appeal for toiletries and other basic items to help prisoners on their release. A representative of Nepacs will give us a Zoom presentation on the work of the charity on Thursday 20th August at 7.00pm. 

You can find the Zoom log in details for the presentation in the parish Facebook Group, or contact Margaret Doyle on 07719 906177 or margaretdoyle1066@sky.com

9 – 23 August 2020

Sunday 9 August
10:00am
Open for pre-booked attendance
Wednesday 12
6:30pm
Priest’s intention
Thursday 13
8:30am
No Public Mass
Thanksgiving
Friday 14
8:30am
No Public Mass
For the sick & their families. NHS front-line workers & those working in social care.
Saturday 15
8:30am
No Public Mass
Private Intention
Sunday 16 – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
10:00am
Open for pre-booked attendance
Tuesday 18
5:15pm
Public Mass
Wednesday 19
8:30am
No Public Mass
Thursday 20 – St Bernard Ab, D
5:15pm
Public Mass
Friday 21 – The Dedication of St Mary's Catherdral
8:30am
No Public Mass
Saturday 22
8:30am
No Public Mass
Sunday 23 – Sunday XXI
10:00am
Open for pre-booked attendance

Do not be afraid

Sudden storms are common on the Sea of Galilee, and in today’s Gospel, we find Jesus’ disciples battling a storm in the middle of the night. They were experienced fishermen and they knew the power of the sea. But if the disciples were frightened by the storm, they were truly terrified when, as they thought, they saw a ghost walking across the waves towards them. Peter recognised Jesus and, at first, put his faith in the Lord, walking across the waves towards them. But Peter panicked when he felt the wind, and he needed Jesus to save him. The disciples were in awe when they saw that Jesus had power over the wind and the sea – surely only God can control the forces of nature?

This Gospel story is both a demonstration of Jesus’ power as Son of God, and a symbol of the Christian life. As we journey through life, we sometimes face high winds and rough seas. We may feel afraid and wonder if we can make it through. Or, like Peter, we may be ready to put our trust in Jesus, but then panic when we see what we are up against. Sometimes, we have to experience those moments of panic to remind us that we do depend completely on God.

The coronavirus pandemic is a storm that has turned our whole world upside down. We have learned that the forces of nature are not always under our control, and we are left wondering what the future holds. This strange and disturbing time is the right time to renew our faith in Christ, the one who does have power to calm all the storms that threaten us. Like Elijah, we will encounter the Lord, not in the violence of the storm, but in the quiet of the gentle breeze.

Meet a Columban Missionary

Following on from their visit to St Cuthbert’s earlier this year, the Columbans in Britain would like to invite you to join a virtual encounter with Marjorie Engcoy, a Columban Lay Missionary from the Philippines assigned to Fiji, on Wednesday 12th August at 7.00pm.  In her work as a lay missionary, Marjorie has been involved in various different ministries such as youth, children, women, liturgy, evangelisation, leadership and JPIC. Marjorie looks forward to explaining some of these ministries in more detail and how through her mission work overseas she has experienced God’s love and His promise: “I will be with you, always.” The free hour-long call will include a prayer, a short introduction and then move to a question and answer forum. We hope this will be a real encounter and not simply something to watch, so numbers will be limited. The webinar encounter will be held on Zoom, and so you’ll need a suitable device and a reliable internet connection. Register at https://tinyurl.com/MeetAColumbanMissionary